SINGAPORE - The strong culture of giving back to society exemplified by companies in the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) can inspire the wider business community, said President Halimah Yacob on Friday (April 26).
She told the chamber's Cares awards ceremony that such firms have made "significant and enduring contributions to Singapore" since the chamber was founded in 1973.
"Besides bringing technology and investment dollars to Singapore, AmCham member companies have inculcated a strong culture of corporate social responsibility, and are doing their part to create long-term social value for Singapore," she added.
The awards honoured 64 companies for their contributions to society.
The winners included consumer goods giant P&G, which set up a programme for employees to volunteer in areas that they are passionate about. Around 1,500 staff members have devoted more than 10,000 hours to skills-based volunteering at social service organisations.
The chamber's membership comprises both American and Singaporean companies as well as firms from countries with significant US business interests. Members include tech giant Google Asia Pacific, online payment leader Paypal and medical devices company Medtronic.
Madam Halimah also noted how the chamber has been working with the Community Chest to promote volunteerism among its members.
Singapore's Community Chest helps steer corporate volunteers to worthy projects and align them with the SG Cares movement to promote volunteer work.
Madam Halimah stressed the importance of getting corporates on board with such efforts. "It's a lot easier to donate money, but it's a lot harder to get people to volunteer their time."
She added that a company's social responsibility efforts make a difference to young employees today.
"When they want to work for a company, they don't just look at how much you pay... they also want to know how socially responsible you are in the different areas."